Australian Writers’ Centre- Overland Short Story Prize & Many Writing Courses

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Australian Writers' Centre
11 July 2013
Sydney: (02) 9929 0088
 

  • TIP: Modal auxiliary verbs
  • Overland Short Story Prize
  • TIP: Finding the right verb
  • Plan ahead – Travel Memoir
  • WEBPICK: Review Fuse
Valerie Khoo Tonight I’m staying at the hip Ovolo Hotel in Melbourne. I don’t say that to boast. I’m actually working! Yes, I’m on assignment for an international magazine to write a travel article about Melbourne.

So, this week, I’m doing research, sampling restaurants, bars and discovering Melbourne’s hidden secrets. That means I’m being hosted on a series of “famils” – that’s travel writing lingo for “familiarisations” – so I have material to write about.

If you’re interested in travel writing, remember that you don’t have to go to a faraway exotic location to make this happen. You can do it in your own city or country. And you’ll love our Travel Writing course.

You’ll discover:

  • The different types of travel articles and why they suit different markets
  • How to speak the language – understanding theindustry lingo
  • How to develop the right angle for your travel story so it doesn’t resemble a six-hour holiday slideshow
  • Structuring your articles, using photos and trip notes effectively
  • How to research travel stories, plan your itineraries and find interview subjects on the road
  • Write without ever getting on a plane – discovering your hometown or state
  • How to stay out of trouble by following travel writing ethics
  • The best way to approach editors and pitch your story to perfection
  • and MUCH more!

Back to basics – Modal
auxiliary verbs

We all know the function of a basic verb – to describe action – but in English (and some Germanic languages too) there are also sub-categories of verbs that help us distinguish between the basic doing word, and the verbs that can do so much more.

An example is the modal auxiliary verb. These are a particular kind of auxiliary verb (a verb used with a main verb to show time and continuity). The modal auxiliary is used to indicate degrees of possibility and certainty. These modal auxiliary verbs modulatethe main verb and come in only one form and tense – the present simple.

Modal auxiliary verbs include may, might, can, could, shall, will, should and would. They always comebefore other auxiliary or main verbs in a sentence. For example:

may not be able to make it to the movie.

You can borrow books from the library.

might visit her on the weekend.

You should write your name on your lunch if you don’t want it stolen.


Overland Short Story Prize

In 2012, Overland literary journal and Victoria University teamed up to launch a short story prize for new and emerging writers. With prize money of $6000 for the winner, the Overland Victoria University Short Story Prize immediately became one of the richest prizes for new writers in Australia – and it’s on again in 2013!

Entries of up to 3000 words on any theme will be eligible for the prize. Only writers who have NOT been published by a commercial publisher can enter. You can enter as many times as you like as long as each entry is accompanied by the entry fee of $18 (or $12 if you’re an Overland subscriber). The author of the best story will be awarded $6000 and two runners up $1000 each. All three winning stories will be published in Overland’s final issue of 2013.

Entries close on Saturday 31 August 2013.
For more information and competition
guidelines click here.


TIP: Finding the right verb

Here’s a quick tip from Oxford University Press on ensuring you match the right verb to collective nouns.

Collective nouns are nouns which stand for a group or collection of people or things and include words such as audience, committee, police, crew, family, government, group, team, and many others.

Most collective nouns can be treated as singular or plural, with either a singular or plural verb:

The whole family was at the table.         [singular verb]
The whole family were at the table.        [plural verb]

But there are a few collective nouns, such as police, which are always used with a plural verb:

She’s happy with the way the police have handled the case. [not…the police has handled the case]

TIP: look up collective nouns in the dictionary if you’re not sure whether to treat them as singular or plural. Special cases such as police have ‘treated as pl.’ in brackets before the definitions.

This is true – we looked up police in our Macquarie Dictionary and it is indeed “construed as plural”. So if you’re not sure how to treat a collective noun, look it up!

Writing About Interiors, Style
and Design

Are you fascinated by home renovation and interior design? If so, you’re lucky. There are plenty of shows on TV to inspire us – Grand Designs, The Block – and countless magazines devoting their pages to great design and architecture. If you have a passion for interiors and design why not write about it? This two-week industry insight course will show you how to write, and publish, design-related articles.

Two-week course starting Tuesday 16 July 2013
Time:
 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $175


Thriller Writing

Join successful author L.A. Larkin for this five-week course on how to write a great thriller. You’ll discover how to build pace and suspense in your story, the dos and don’ts of action scenes, and what you need to do to get published. Whether you’ve already written the first chapter or are still working on your idea, this course will show you how to write a thriller your readers can’t put down.

Five-week course starting Thursday 18 July 2013
Time:
 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395


Writing for the web

Learn why writing for the web is different to writing for print in this one-day seminar. If you want your website to make an impact then you need to know the golden rules of writing for the web. Grant Doyle will show you how to write concisely and  engage your readers, how to write for ‘scannability’, how to use keywords for search engine optimisation and much more. This seminar is perfect for anyone who writes web copy, whether you’re the business owner, the marketing professional or an experienced print writer.

One day seminar Monday 22 July 2013
Time:
 9 am – 4 pm
Cost: $450

History, Mystery and Magic with Kate Forsyth

Saturday 3 August to
Sunday 4 August 2013
Only 3 places left!


Writing the
Senses in Bali
with Patti Miller

Saturday 10 August to
Saturday 17 August 2013
Only 3 places left!


This week on Writing Bar

 

We’ve seen a few firsts on Writing Bar this week. Our first post in the “Books to read in the apocalypse” series, our first “Wacky Word Wednesday”, and lots of publishing firsts for our writing community, which you can read about in this week’s success story round-up.

Check out all the week’s stories at Writing Bar.


Plan ahead – Travel Memoir

Publishers and readers love travel memoir. The world may be shrinking but this genre is growing in popularity every day thanks to authors like Bill Bryson, William Dalrymple, and of course Elizabeth Gilbert.

Travel Memoir employs a different set of skills to writing travel feature articles. You need to be able to turn your experiences into a compelling story that will grip readers from the first page or blog post. Whether you’re yet to take that trip of a lifetime, or you have travel journals from past holidays you’d like to turn into a memoir, the Travel Memoir course with Claire Scobie will show you how!

Book now
 


Oops Word

While out cheese shopping, we spotted this distinctive spelling error:

Great quince paste it may be, but it’s not ‘distinctivley’ Australian, it’s ‘distinctively’.


WEBPICK: Review Fuse

Finding a space online where you can get valuable feedback on your writing is tricky. It can be hard enough seeking a critique from people you meet face-to-face so it’s not surprising many people find the idea of an online writing group just that little bit more terrifying! While Review Fuse doesn’t promise to take the terror out of submitting your work for feedback, it does guarantee detailed critiques on your work – as long as you’re prepared to offer the same detailed critique to other writers.

You can join Review Fuse for free and submit as many pieces of writing as you like. There’s a guide on how to write useful feedback, which all members are encouraged to use. There are also regular writing competitions, writing lessons and a fuse blog.

Check it out here.


“In journalism just one fact that is false prejudices the entire work. In contrast, in fiction one single fact that is true gives legitimacy to the entire work. That’s the only difference, and it lies in the commitment of the writer.”

Words of wisdom from – Gabriel Garcia Márquez

Upcoming courses

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman
When: Week beginning Monday 15 July 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/
Cathie Tasker

When: Week beginning Monday 15 July 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

New dateOnline Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Cathie Tasker/
Pamela Freeman

When: Week beginning Monday 22 July 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

New dateOnline Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White/Allison Tait
When: Week beginning Monday 22 July 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When: Week beginning Monday 5 August 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

New dateOnline Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Cathie Tasker/
Pamela Freeman

When: Week beginning Monday 5 August 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

New dateOnline Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
When: Week beginning Monday 2 September 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Sydney coursesDaytime seminar: Blogging for Beginners with Kim Berry
When: Friday 12 July 2013 (two-hour morning seminar)
Time: 10 am – 12 noon
Cost: $85

Course: Writing About Interiors, Style and Design with Nigel Bartlett
When: Tuesday 16 July and 23 July 2013 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $175

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When: Wednesday 17 July 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 17 July 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Thriller Writing with L.A. Larkin
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 18 July 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Writing for the Web with Grant Doyle
When: Monday 22 July 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When: Every Monday starting Monday 22 July 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle
When: Wednesday 24 July 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Build Your Profile Using Twitter with Kerri Sackville
When: Wednesday 24 July 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: How to Create and Sell Your eBook with Anna Maguire
When: Thursday 25 July 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Weekend course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie
When: Saturday 27 July and Sunday 28 July 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

New dateSeminar: Blogging for Beginners with Kim Berry
When: Tuesday 30 July 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 30 July 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When: Wednesday 31 July 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $495

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Holly Nott
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 1 August 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: History, Mystery and Magic with Kate Forsyth
When: Saturday 3 August and Sunday 4 August 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When: Wednesday 7 August 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Kate Hennessy
When: Wednesday 14 August 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White
When: Thursday 15 August 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville
When: Wednesday 28 August 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Weekend course: Life Writing with Patti Miller
When: Saturday 31 August and Saturday 7 September 2013 (2 Saturdays)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 5 September 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
When: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 25 September 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Weekend course: Writing About Food with Carli Ratcliff
When: Saturday 12 October and Sunday 13 October 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Screenwriting Stage 2 with Tim Gooding
When: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 15 October 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Self-Publishing: How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When: Wednesday 16 October 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: Introduction to Novel Writing with Pamela Freeman
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 17 October 2013 for six weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $495

Weekend Course: Write a Chick-Lit Novel with Lisa Heidke
When: Saturday 19 October and Sunday 20 October 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 23 October 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

OVERSEAS WRITING TOURS

Writing the Senses in Bali with Patti Miller
When: Saturday 10 August to Saturday 17 August 2013

Memoir Writing in Paris with Patti Miller – FULL
When: Thursday 24 October to Saturday 9 November 2013

Writing About Food in Vietnam with Carli Ratcliff
Dates for 2014 TBC

Thanks for signing up to this newsletter.

Wishing you much writing success,

Valerie Khoo

About Valerie:
Valerie Khoo is a journalist, author of six books and founder of the Australian Writers’ Centre. Valerie writes regularly for smh.com.autheage.com.au,brisbanetimes.com.auwatoday.com.aucanberratimes.com.au andbusinessday.com.au. The Australian Writers’ Centre runs a range of popular writing courses in Sydney, Melbourne and online. She is author of Power Stories: The 8 Stories You MUST Tell to Build an Epic Business (Wiley).

Courses Our Blog Podcast Twitter Facebook Contact

Australian Writers’ Centre
Suite 3, 55 Lavender Street Milsons Point NSW 2061
www.WritersCentre.com.au

 

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